Google’s Dawn WebGPU implementation, cross-compiled with Zig into a single static library, requiring nothing more than
git to build and cross-compile a static Dawn library for every OS:
- No cmake
- No ninja
- No system dependencies (xcode, etc.)
- Automagic cross compilation out of the box with nothing more than
- Builds a single static
Building from source
This will take ~10 minutes to finish, so by default when using this package a prebuilt binary version of Dawn (see the ‘binary releases’ section below) but you can always build Dawn from source using:
DAWN_FROM_SOURCE=true zig build dawn
Dawn (specifically all the shader compilers, and the DirectXShaderCompiler) is a large C++ codebase and takes 5-10 minutes to build on a modern laptop. Since waiting is no fun, we also have binary releases produced by our GitHub actions:
Here’s how to read the downloads provided:
_release-fast.tar.gzare tarballs of the static library + headers for each OS and debug/release mode, respectively.
headers.json.gzis a JSON archive of all the Dawn/WebGPU headers.
- Files ending in
.lib.gzare the individual static
dawn.lib(Windows) gzippped and distributed. These are provided as individual downloads so there is no need to extract a tarball.
Important: Building WebGPU API symbols
Dawn and other WebGPU implementations (like the Rust one) do not agree on a standard
webgpu.h API. Aspirationally, they aim to target the same https://github.com/webgpu-native/webgpu-headers header, but in practice they expose different APIs which are not ABI compatible.
When you call a Dawn
webgpu.h function, Dawn internally diverts this call through a vtable which must be initialized using a call to
mach/gpu-dawn builds since Oct 17th 2022 no longer include the
webgpu.h symbols by default. If you intend to actually call the WebGPU API, you should build these two source files as part of your application:
dawnProcSetProcs to set up the proc table.
A warning about API stability
You should be aware:
- WebGPU’s API is not formalized yet.
- Dawn’s API is still changing.
webgpu.hAPI is still changing
- Dawn and gfx-rs/wgpu, although both try to implement
webgpu.h, do not exactly implement the same interface. There are subtle differences in device discovery & creation for example.
Dawn itself relies on a fairly large amount of dependencies, generated code, etc. To avoid having any dependency on Google build tools, code generation, etc. we maintain a minor fork of Dawn which has generated code and third-party dependencies comitted in “generated” branches. We are usually up-to-date with the upstream within a few weeks on average.
It also provides a few small patches to enable building Dawn with the Zig compiler which we plan to upstream soon, as well as some patches to build the DirectXShaderCompiler with Zig.